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Sanders endorses Engel challenger in New York primary

Sanders endorses Engel challenger in New York primary
© Facebook: Jamaal Bowman

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Congress can protect sacred Oak Flat in Arizona from mining project MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday endorsed middle school principal Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenge against Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance Engel Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Progressives target Manchin, Sinema with new PAC State Department sets up new bureau for cybersecurity and emerging technologies MORE (D-N.Y.) in the race to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District.

“Jamaal Bowman is a public school teacher and principal in the Bronx who is running for the U.S. House in New York's 16th District to unseat a 16-term incumbent Democrat,” Sanders said.

“Jamaal understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a system that is rigged to benefit the wealthy. In Congress he will lead the fight for investing in our public schools, ending mass incarceration, and addressing the housing crisis. He is someone we can trust to be a powerful advocate for a progressive agenda in Congress.”

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Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is under siege from the left, with top progressive groups and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap The Memo: How liberal will the Biden presidency be? Five hurdles Democrats face to pass an infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) already having backed Bowman.

Bowman has been raking in the cash since the left began rallying around his campaign, bringing in more than $250,000 in the three days after Ocasio-Cortez announced her support.

Bowman is running on a progressive platform that includes “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal. He has the support of the Justice Democrats, a group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the progressive group Democracy for America.

Engel, meanwhile, is seeking his 17th term in office. He defeated three primary challengers in 2018 on his way to winning another term in 2018, but he faces a far greater challenge from Bowman in 2020.

Last week, Engel was caught on a hot mic at an event, where he was heard saying "if I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care” to address a crowd of activists.

Engel has the backing of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says she would have put up a fight against Capitol mob: 'I'm a street fighter' Biden to address Congress on April 28 NY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksLawmakers want Biden to pressure Saudi Arabia to end Yemen blockade Iran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization MORE, head of the Queens Democratic Party and the Congressional Black Caucus.

The New York primary is on June 23.